With the amount of information streaming through news networks every day, there’s little doubt that mistakes will be made. But a recent incident involving a news reporter who lost control on camera the night of the Grammy’s has been joined by a second incident – this one involving a reporter from Canada who began speaking gibberish during the closing of a piece on the Libya conflict. Are these two incidents completely rational and indicative of nothing more than a medical condition? Or is there something more to it?
There’s no question that the footage is strange to watch. On March 21, Mark McAllister found himself struggling during the end segments of a Libyan video. Almost from the beginning, McAllister starts stumbling and the words eventually devolve into a string of words that don’t seem to have any connection to one another. Shortly afterward, paramedics were called to the scene and examined McAllister. While no immediate sign of a stroke or similar ailment was discovered, McAllister said later via Twitter that he would be seeking a follow-up with his own doctors.
But even as paramedics were examining McAllister, the footage was already being uploaded to Youtube and being scrutinized en masse by viewers who couldn’t help but recall the incident with local reporter Serene Branson who had done the same just a month prior. Transcribing the footage for examination means making up the spelling for a few of the stranger words, but it appears as follows:
“Now Defense Minister McCaine – McCloud did confirm today that more than sifty four eighteen fighter jets are spending about as much as twenty and ready to assist the six hundred – hundred deployed over the anout needed. Now it did depend how did the noalan are remerges our land while the university or the UN mission as whole received support from all patteries in the hues of the garbens of today – – Excuse me I’ll hand it back to you.”
It’s clear during the latter portion of the report that McAllister is aware that something has gone wrong, and he looks perhaps embarrassed as he suddenly snaps back into clarity and hands off the report back to an anchor.
Perhaps the strangest element of this story is the fact that it’s now happened twice in about a month in a way that could be captured by viewers and then rebroadcast throughout the web. The idea of someone losing control of their speech functions live is a disturbing trend lately that -even if it is coincidental- could be suggesting a trend among reporters.
Viewers throughout the Internet later suggested that the incident might have been brought on by a number of things ranging from sudden increased activity from the sun to a vast reptilian conspiracy. When you reach into the realm of something as strange as this, however, any theories that follow are fair game. These are articulate individuals who are used to getting their messages across and suddenly they lose sight of their speech functions while reporting live. Is there a connection? And will this story fade into the background? Or will we be seeing more like it in the future?